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Military Rule Of Tampa During Civil War

No Municipal Form of Government

Several months after the Confederate artillery fired on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, Confederate troops occupied Fort Brooke to protect Tampa and the surrounding areas from Union invasion and to facilitate the blockade runners departing Tampa.

In May of 1861, Mayor Hamlin Valentine Snell resigned, sold his properties and left Tampa along with other citizens to avoid the destruction. With the declaration of Martial Law by the confederate commander in January 1862, the municipal government was moot. Further, the treasury was empty, officials were working without salary, and there was little that they could accomplish. Mayor John Jackson, who had served as Acting Mayor after the departure of Mayor Snell, was elected in his own right on February 2, 1862, but only served nineteen days before the town government ceased to exist.

From February 1862 through April 1865, both the confederate military and Hillsborough County assumed municipal activities.